6.72 h 16 min2004X-RayPG-13
Famed horseman Frank T. Hopkins enters a grueling competition with his mustang Hidalgo. Together, they must not only survive a 3,000-mile race across blistering desert terrain; they must also thwart evil competitors who vow victory at any cost.
Joe Johnston
Viggo MortensenZuleikha RobinsonOmar Sharif
English [CC]Español
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Supporting actors
Louise Lombard
The Walt Disney Studios
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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Smokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.8 out of 5 stars

6690 global ratings

  1. 86% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

LokagosReviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hidalgood movie? More like Hidalgreat cinematographic experience!!!
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This is one of the few movies out there that is not over the top with explosions and over the top acting. Viggo Mortensen is brilliant and sublime in this film. Gorgeous cinematography, well written, epic land scapes, and based on a true story. The film does take some liberties I'm sure from the original story, but it does so in a tactful manner. They don't make movies like this anymore and it's a shame. Fun and excitement for the whole family without the necessity of vulgarity and nudity. Heart warming, thought provoking, and with a good message to boot. We want more of these films Hollywood!!!
18 people found this helpful
Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on October 27, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Exciting Epic Western Adventure!
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A crowd pleasing horse racing adventure!

Joe Johnston’s epic Western Hidalgo (2004) is a beautifully shot film with captivating desert vistas and striking close-up reaction shots that just hold on Viggo Mortensen reacting to horrible things happening. Johnston directs Hidalgo like an old Western drama, establishing fun characters and stunning scenic views to completely wrap you up in another time and place. The cinematography is so pretty that you will be pleasantly surprised. I love the harrowing shot of Mortensen just staring at the massacred Native Americans at Wounded Knee. Johnston takes on American racism and Middle Eastern sexism, racism, classism, and tradition with a scathing look at hard to see history of white men committing genocide against Native Americans to Arabic treatment of women and slaves. Hidalgo is just a giant metaphor against “pure blood” and “purebred” thinking and hateful regressive stances.

John Fusco’s writing unfortunately cannot muster up the same brave gusto to create a realistic romance with his barebones romance drama portions and basic action fight sequences. At least the comedy bits are humorous and the horse race itself is gripping. Hidalgo just loses its fast paced steam to a slower paced second half during a side plot about rescuing a love interest that just goes on and on oddly. Hidalgo speeds on by at its fastest during the horse race and intimate character moments.

I love the production design, costumes, make-up, and desert locations that give Hidalgo an authentic exotic setting. You are all set to have an adventure the second you get off the boat to The Middle East. James Newton Howard’s score is a rousing accompaniment to the vivacious racing action as well as the lethargic Sun beating down trek. Howard makes you feel excited to be in the middle of the fray, while also helps the long distance horse race feel excruciatingly treacherous.

Viggo Mortensen is cool as a cowboy raised by Native Americans and an expert long distance horse racer. He plays it close to the heart with emotional dramatic moments like his tears in his eyes witnessing the slaughter at Wounded Knee. Omar Sharif is emotional and stern as Sheikh Riyadh. Zuleikha Robinson is beautiful and sympathetic as the Jazira. C. Thomas Howell is overacting his initial encounter with Mortensen in an old timey fisticuffs kind of manner as Preston Webb. Louise Lombard is stunning and conniving as Lady Anne Davenport. Her sultry attempts to seduce and trick Viggo Mortensen are playful and neat to watch. Harsh Nayyar is hilarious as the servant Yusef with his complaints and prophecies. J.K. Simmons is interesting and apt as Buffalo Bill Cody. Said Taghmaoui is cowardly and under-handed as Prince Bin Al Reeh. Lastly, Elizabeth Berridge is fun as the fierce Annie Oakley. Even a mustachioed Malcolm McDowell makes a riveting cameo as the racist and pompous Lord Davenport.

Overall, a solid cast endears Hidalgo to the audience alongside Joe Johnston’s creative directing and visionary filming.
8 people found this helpful
Putney TracksReviewed in the United States on June 7, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not a true story
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I did a thorough search and found no evidence of a long distance horse race in the Mideast -- none. And no evidence of the main character Frank Hopkins winning anywhere close to 400 long distance races in the U.S.
And no evidence from the Lakota that either he or his mother were of Lakota heritage.
Otherwise, it's a fun movie to watch, but there's no reason for Touchstone to say the movie is based on a true story, or that Hopkins won 400 races.
Yes, the Wounded Knee Massacre did happen, that's one of the few events that the movie portrayed as historically accurate.
5 people found this helpful
MattReviewed in the United States on May 24, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Too Disney to be a great
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Worth the watch if you're really bored and its free on Prime, but frustratingly mediocre in a corporate boardroom profit-driven sort of way. Its very well produced, the story works, and the performances are great. Again, frustrating. This could have been great. It probably was great. Some suit screwed this up.

Its like they wanted to make "A Knight's Tale" but super-duper-serious and like, totally, not at all trivializing the culture and history it desperately attempts to portray. Problem is that the comedy is offensively bad and the history/culture is surface-level and cartoonish. Its a Disney fairytale. Whatever drama there is becomes immediately negated by the next scene, where you either get some yuckity-yucks or a superhero movie trailer shot of Seabiscuit oh I mean, what's this movie's title again?

This movie shouldn't have been made. A much better movie with the same story could (and maybe does) exist and I'd love to watch it.
5 people found this helpful
ChrijeffReviewed in the United States on September 21, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
An epic race
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Clocking in at over two hours’ runtime, this is an exciting (if somewhat slow to start) story about a man, a horse, a clash of cultures, and a race without equal in venerability, distance, and peril. In 1890, Frank T. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen)—who’s half Sioux, although he doesn’t look it—is only 25, but already has the reputation of being the greatest endurance-race rider in the world. His mount is Hidalgo, a beautiful brown-and-white overo pinto mustang whom he calls “Little Brother.” When he unwittingly carries the dispatch that results in the massacre of unoffensive Sioux at Wounded Knee, he flees to the East—and a bottle—to escape his horror and guilt. Months later, having joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s (J. K. Simmons) Wild West, he’s approached by one Aziz (Adam Alexi-Malle), a representative of a Bedouin sheik who is “insulted” at Frank’s title. The Bedouins, it seems, have for several centuries been holding an annual endurance race of their own—3000 miles from Aden to Damascus, across a burning desert called the Ocean of Fire. Only if Frank can compete in this contest, and win, says Aziz, will he legitimately be able to call himself “the greatest.” Frank isn’t interested at first, but when he learns that the Army is rounding up Sioux horses with intent to slaughter them—but will surrender them to anyone able to pay an inflated price—and that the winner of the race will walk away with $100,000 in American money, he changes his mind, especially after Annie Oakley (Elizabeth Berridge) spearheads a fund drive among the performers that provides him with the entry fee.

Reaching Aden, Frank meets Sheikh Riyadh (Omar Sharif), who turns out to be fascinated by the Wild West (we once find him deeply engrossed in a dime novel), and is provided with a staff of sorts—an old goatherder named Yusef (Harsh Nayyar) and a black slave boy (Franky Mwangi). He finds, too, that he’s not the only European who’s entered the race, though he’s the only one who’ll be riding in it: Englishwoman Lady Anne Davenport (Louise Lombard) has entered her purebred Arabian mare, hoping to win permission to breed the animal to Riyadh’s best stud, also an entrant. In the gruelling days that follow, Frank will face a killer dust storm (impressive special effects by George Lucas’s ILM), a plague of locusts that wipes out “any forage up ahead,” a bandit raider (Adoni Maropis) from whom he must help rescue Riyadh’s daughter Jazira (Zuleikha Robinson), quicksands, and the underhanded maneuverings of Lady Anne. In the end he finds his true strength and identity and proves what he and Hidalgo are made of.

Hidalgo himself is as much the star of the movie as Mortensen—a beautiful horse (almost certainly *not* a purebred mustang) and both clever and splendidly trained. Though Frank finds much in the Bedouin culture that he can neither understand nor approve—their treatment of their women, their fixation on the purity of their horses’ blood—he sees too that in some ways they are very much like the Sioux, and he and Riyadh forge a real friendship. Sometimes violent but always exciting and full of desert pageantry, this is one of my favorite movies.
27 people found this helpful
KayReviewed in the United States on June 20, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A beautiful movie worth watching all over again
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It is a rarity for me to give out 5 stars.

I watched this movie more than a decade ago - on a whim. I loved it. It is one of those movies that are hidden in the recesses of my memories where if it came up, I would watch it all over again. And I just did. It never ceases to amaze and does not disappoint with the beautiful story, story telling of this movie. It would make you want to do an online search and find out if the story of Hidalgo is true. This movie may be a "based on a true story," or "inspired by a true story" kind of movie and whatever kind of semantics those lawyers come out with in terms of labeling a movie, but the truth is, this is a very beautiful movie that's wonderfully made and expressed to your average movie watcher.

It is very inspirational and there are life lessons depicted in it, both obvious and subtle, that are worth noting and being reminded of that are sadly very absent in today's world.

True (Hollywood) movies do not employ an overwhelming amount of CGI or any artificial film effects to tell a a very good story. And this movie is proof of that.

Viggo Mortensen is one of Hollywood's most underrated and underappreciated actors of all time. He is a real man who embodied the real manliness of Mr. Frank T Hopkins. And let's not forget the great Omar Sharif who is another one of those unappreciated Hollywood actors long forgotten in today's chaotic world where real character values are noticeably absent. Lessons to be learned, ladies and gentlemen. Lessons to be learned.

Watch this movie - without any distractions. You will never be disappointed.
One person found this helpful
johnReviewed in the United States on June 5, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Another whitewash story.
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The movie starts off with the massacre of Native Americans as if they are less than human or even less than a horse. It continues with a circus that glorifies this massacre. Then it takes off on the story line about a fast horse and its drunk down trotting Indian sympathizer owner who of course in the end he will turn out to be the story's hero. 15min in I turned it off.
2 people found this helpful
the sound barrierReviewed in the United States on June 3, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lame plot and plot devices
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A movie like this should make me feel good but this one didn't. None of the plot devices were close to being close to real, AND the plot had nothing comparable to a Raiders or a Bond film. Yeah, but what do I know? 2 stars because I watched it all the way to the end.
2 people found this helpful
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